Destiny: The Taken King Kicks Arse So Far

Destiny: The Taken King Kicks Arse So Far

When Destiny first launched, it was a half-baked, punishing game with the barest hint of a story, delivered through crummy dialogue and repetitive missions that tasked you with shooting endless waves of enemies. One year later, everything's changed.

I've spent much of the past 24 hours powering through Destiny's big Year Two expansion, The Taken King, which came out yesterday morning. I did the first story quest — consisting of eight meaty missions — and then I plugged away at many of the other quests that pop up once you've beaten the first one. I completed a few strikes, shot through some PVP matches, and spent some time exploring the Dreadnaught, a new planet-sized ship that's full of hidden treasures and obscure secrets. And I still feel like there's so much more to do. (You can expect our full review in a week or two, once Kirk and I have had way more time with the game.)

In recent Destiny ledes, I've snarked that after a year, Bungie's ambitious shooter-MMO hybrid is finally out of beta. Like all the best Destiny snark, that rings true. After playing Destiny 2.0, it's almost hard to believe that Bungie once made so many horrible decisions, and it's nice to be able to look back and laugh, knowing how much better the game has become. Remember when purple engrams would drop blue weapons? And we had to go to vendors to see our faction reputations? Can you believe we had to re-level all our exotics? Ha ha ha.

Now, fortunately for long-time players who bought into Bungie's promises of iteration, Destiny has received a truckload of little tweaks and enhancements that make everything feel more player-friendly in ways the game's never seen before. It's those little things, the ones nobody really understands unless they have played Destiny, that make the biggest difference. You can skip cutscenes! You can turn in bounties without going back to the tower! You can walk around without a helmet!!!

Destiny's best new feature, the quest system, is a good example of how the game has evolved. In the past, when Bungie wanted to give players new things to do, whether it be DLC missions or lengthy exotic weapon quests, the designers would put them all in bounty slots, where they'd occupy the precious space used for other, more short-term tasks. Raising the number of total bounty slots from five to 10 helped alleviate this a bit, but it was still an inelegant, annoying system that forced people to be picky about which bounties they wanted to complete.

In Destiny 2.0, though, everything's different. All of the game's missions — even the ones from last September — are now organised into quest-lines that are easy to track and finish. You can see them all in a sharp, flavorful new "quests" menu on your character screen. (One thing Destiny never gets enough credit for: How brilliant the UI design is all around.)

Some of these quests task you with doing some really interesting things; others lead into one another in ways that weren't really possible with vanilla Destiny. The system is flexible enough to allow Bungie to keep adding new content through the form of "quests" over the next few weeks, months, and years, which presumably they will do.

Destiny: The Taken King Kicks Arse So Far

The Taken King's first eight missions, which are delivered through one of these quest-lines, are also indicative of how much Destiny has changed over the past year. No longer do you stand in a room and shoot through waves of enemies; now there exists the type of actual variety you might have expected to see a year ago, with stealth and platforming and interactive objects that you can use to solve rudimentary puzzles. We saw this evolution start with Destiny's first expansion, The Dark Below, and continue with the second, House of Wolves; now, after a year's worth of iteration, it finally feels like Destiny is living up to the lofty promises Bungie made when they first announced the game.

Problem is, there's not much to make fun of anymore. Even the story is interesting — yes, Destiny has a story now! — mostly because the writers have finally figured out how to deliver it. No longer must you suffer through a series of cutscenes in which insufferable people yell enigmatic things at you. Now, characters like Zavala and Eris Morn will talk to each other on the radio, playing off one another and revealing a level of personality I never thought we'd see from the gruff world of Destiny. Ghost replacement Nolan North does a fine job in the role, but Nathan Fillion's Cayde-6 is the real star of the show; if you've ever wanted to shoot aliens while listening to Captain Mal make fun of everyone, this is your game.

I still don't feel like I've gotten a handle on everything in The Taken King. Even after you beat the first main storyline, you're hit with an almost overwhelming number of new quests and other things to do, including, for the first time in Destiny, a large new map with its own patrol missions and quests. Meet the Dreadnaught.

Destiny: The Taken King Kicks Arse So Far

The Dreadnaught might be the most impressive new thing in Destiny. I say "might be" because I honestly have no idea. While exploring the Dreadnaught with Kirk last night, I kept finding weird secrets, including chests that I have no idea how to open. For example:

Destiny: The Taken King Kicks Arse So Far

What's the Key of Xol? Where can I get it? How do I activate it? I have no idea, and that's part of what makes The Taken King so great. Bungie's designers have taken the unexplained mysteries of last year's Vault of Glass raid and infused them in every part of the Dreadnaught, and that's a very, very good thing. I'm psyched to dig in more and try to figure out just what the hell is up with all of the Dreadnaught's hidden passages and objects.

Like, look:

Destiny: The Taken King Kicks Arse So Far

What're Skyburners Deployment Codes and how the hell do I get them? I HAVE NO IDEA. And don't even get me started on the Wormsinger Rune, whatever that is.

Destiny: The Taken King Kicks Arse So Far

A year later, Destiny's changed in some wonderful ways. It's been a very slow change, yes, and those of us who have been playing since last September will talk newcomers' heads off about how good they have it now, but it's all welcome.

It's impossible to tell what The Taken King's longevity will be like. We won't get our heads around the weekly rhythm until the raid comes out and more time passes. For now, though, it's safe to say that as Year Two kicks off, Destiny is better than it's ever been.


Comments

    It seems odd to me that none of these articles or reviews are making any mention of the upgrade cost.

      thanks you! My feeling exactly! But I am not where as succinct as you are so I blabbed a whole essay -_-

      Breaking news: games cost money

      Economy grinds to a halt as consumers rebel against timeless system of exchanging money for goods and services.

        You've got to admit Destiny (at least in year one) cost more and delivered less. It was very fun to play so it didn't matter that much that it's repetitive, but even if you're playing five nights a week you've got to question why it costs so much for Destiny content. It costs money to produce content and keep the game running, but it feels like everything they do has an extra $10 thrown on just because they can get away with it.

          I certainly got my money's worth of Destiny year 1 even though at times it felt like that was in spite of Bungie's efforts rather than because of them. Broken economy, endless grind, poorly expressed story, repetitive missions, etc. but I just enjoyed the mechanics of playing it so much that I gritted my teeth and got through the negatives. There was so much tweaking and balancing going on that I didn't really find my feet. I took a long break before The Dark Below and another break before House of Wolves, and enough changed that I felt comfortable playing it. I'm glad I stuck with it. So far, The Taken King has made Destiny much more like the game I wanted to be playing. I'm going to try and pace myself through the new content because I guess I feel like there's a purpose to it now whereas before there was grind for the sake of grind.

          I'm sure once I've played it for a couple of months I'll be just as familiar with it as I am the base 1 content and I'll be playing the same content over and over, there's no escaping the fact that games are finite, but I feel like this is more of a marathon than sprinting on the same treadmill over and over hoping something nice happens this time.

            Is it only me? Am I the only bitter one out there? No doubt Destiny was fun to play from day 1 even with all the issues. But I just cannot get over the fact that I am paying it again (full price mind you. Well, $10 off a normal full priced but still) for the same (but much improved) game.

              While some missions reuse existing environments, you are getting a new patrol zone plus updated content throughout the existing environments, a large number of new missions and the story is told extremely well with some great dialogue and cutscenes that actually explain what's going on. No, they didn't add a whole new earth, moon, venus, mars, but why on earth would they have done that? There's plenty of ways to use the existing setting.

              The only part that annoys me is that it's $40 in the Us and have been no more than $55 here with the current exchange rate. But it isn't - we get gouged, like we always do with games.

              Call of duty, assassins creed, Sports game 20xx etc. Gamers buy the the same (but much improved) games year after year.

                I don't buy any of those, but I will admit to owning the free Assassin's Creed Black Flag they gave me on XB1 Live.

                That is true. I just cannot see myself doing it, maybe if I have lots and lots of money (and time to play them).

              $30 less than a new game, if you go retail price. you get a new raid, four new strikes, a new MASSIVE patrols zones. a story campaign, three new classes with quests, a whole series other quests.

              Yes some of them are in old zones but unlike other games that makes the old zones stay important into year two, instead of never going to them again

              seriously even if you put a random $5 amount of each of items and it still works out as value. Well unless you live in a world where games dont cost money and all your entertainment can be torrented for free... meanwhile in this world, games and entertainment cost money.

              Any idea how much it costs to pay voice actors and musicans?! to say nothing of all the other talent involved in the business.

              Hell Nathan Fillion is so damn amazing in this he alone is worth an extra $20 ticket price.

              Last edited 17/09/15 5:51 pm

        Uh... DLC costs more money then the full base game costs, which is about 5 to 6 times larger then this DLC. Seems you are kind of missing the point. $70 for a DLC is an absolute joke

          Have you played The Taken King?

            No, but have been walked thruogh it by my mates. All of whom finished the story within the first day of it hitting and were at the level cap before even finishing the new story. Level cap and story in the base game took a lot longer, so my point still stands.

            Am getting it tonight, as much as I hate myself for it lol

              You won't hate yourself for long...

                haha the exact same thing my mate said to me. Is hard being in a party of 6 or 7 and being the only one not playing destiny lol so I buckled

                I hate myself for growing up and having a job that stops me from playing games 10 hours a day.

              How hard where they going? I've played about 17 hours of it. Half of that time finishing the main story quest and the other half barely scratching the surface of the large amount of other quests.

                Admitedly they do go quite hard. These are guys that can solo all the raids with ease lol still, I beleive what they are telling me, as they know the game like the back of their hands
                Plus its clear that it is only part of the base game, for example we're only getting one new class, where as base game had two to go through.
                My point is just that it is way overpriced, I'd have handled $50, but i think $70 is asking too much. Am not saying it should have been free, but it should not have been the price of a full game, I can get Batman or Witcher for that price for example, heck a lot of new games are priced at $70. Its just wrong

                  You make good points, it all comes down to how you percieve worth. Personally for me the price is annoying but something I'm willing to pay due to the fact I like destiny :)

              You can hit level 40 in 30 seconds if you have a few days worth of bounties stocked up. You can also burn through the main story in a few hours, especially if you have a fireteam. I think my wife and I playing together knocked it out in around 4 or 5? I don't recall when we started but we finished just after midnight.

              But if you think the content stops at finishing the story and hitting level 40, you're mistaken.

                Of course it doesn't stop, but then you could say that about the original content too. I'm still chasing exotics and doing strikes/raids from the year 1 stuff, same with my mates who've been playing for thousands of hours more then me, but you wouldn't say the base game had a thousand hours worth of gameplay?

                Its just not $70 worth of content in the end, and that is the point I'm trying to make. I'm not saying it should be free or anything like that, simply that its way overpriced for what it is. Even more so when we're paying something like $20 more then the US. Just amazes me that people swallow it without a word of complaint, as they're just going to continue to pull shit like this

                  I'm not talking about completing every grimoire, getting every exotic and repeating every strike hunting for legendary loot drops a hundred times on each character, I mean the actual quests that follow the story (not even going into how the story in this being far better than what was launched last year).

                  Since you're going to play it anyway, I'd suggest sitting down with it, playing through the content, and seeing if you feel you got your money's worth before making remarks like it not being $70 worth of content.

                  It won't change my mind... no DLC is worth the price of a full game, its as simple as that. I honestly can't see myself going back on that statement. Yeah I'll enjoy it, and find a lot of fun out it no doubt, but I guarantee that it won't change my mind on it being worth $70, especially when half of it is just fixing what we've already paid for.

                  I'm honestly stunned that you are defending it, even my die hard mates who preordered it are even salty at the price of it, and they have played it probably a lot more then most and would know the value of it better then the both of us. I think you're the only one in the comments section defending it. Its even worse when we've got a $20 "because your australian" mark up. But defend it if you think thats right, that's your call in the end, we're each entitled to our own opinions

                  Last edited 17/09/15 2:37 pm

                  Well since you're so determined not to be satisfied, please don't allow me to stand in your way any longer.

                  You're arguing with a Destiny fanboy, of course the $70 is justified.

                  All i'm hearing is - No, it's not $70 worth of content. But i'm happy to grind the same stuff for hours, so I'm getting my money's worth. If you don't think it's worth the $70 then you either haven't played it or you're wrong.

              I think that comment sums up a lot of Destiny. There are lots of reasons to rage against it, but at the end of the day it is very hard to resist. After putting it down for 6 months, the new additions have made my return to destiny feel so good it is better than a new game - it is a game I loved fixed to be the game I wanted it to be. I was happy to pay a new game price to get that.... but others won't. The best case is for the total newbie who has never touched Destiny..... for them it will be great.

              I'm assuming you bought it and played for a few hours. Is it worth buying, or passing? I'm still not convinced yet. I have had it in my cart, but just couldn't go through with it.

      I was going to come on and ask this (partly because I’m too lazy to look it up), but this expansion is nearly full retail price right?

      I had a look on XBL yesterday and from what I could tell the cheapest way to purchase it was in a $60AU package?
      That’s pretty steep, I enjoyed the original content (complete with all its disappointments) but I won’t be jumping in any further at that price!

      I understand that it’s slowly improving, but I just found everything about Destiny too boring to justify pouring hundreds of hours into collecting the better items (only for them to be superseded in the next update). It felt like a pretty game world with a fantastic engine that was entirely devoid of interaction and with placeholder enemies, story, vehicles, weapons ect.

      I can’t say I’m entirely unenthused though, I might pick it up if it gets a good discount (50%) in an XBL sale.

        I got the DLC only for about $40, but that's only if you had Vanilla Destiny + Expansion pass all digital.

          So no matter what you do you’re essentially paying twice for what (right now) would be one very good game.

          I actually wish I never bought Destiny in the first place. If you got it right now it would be up there with MGS, Witcher ect as game of the year contenders.

            I never got Destiny and atm I'm seriously considering getting the taken king package you can get right now which includes original game all dlc and taken king obviously for pretty much the same price everyone paid for destiny back when it first came out from what everyone seems to be saying its a pretty awesome deal.

            I guess I'm just worried that new players are going to struggle early on in this year 2 destiny world?

          How the hell did you find it that cheap?
          I have the base game + year 1 season pass yet buying ttk standalone is gonna slap me with a $70 price still.
          Absolute joke

          How did you get it for $40 I've only seen $70 options, for $40 I'd have purchased it.

          I'm on XB1 and have all the previous DLC I purchased at launch because I was so excited about this game.

            If you tick all the prerequisites it's there - you might have to go clicking around for it though, it's certainly not front and centre, they've saved that marketing gem for the full version.

              Can you give me a bit more detail? I've looked through the store on the XB1 and through the website I can't find anything like that. Are you using a VPN? What platform are you on? Any help would be appreciated by everyone interested but a little upset over the price.

                I'm stuck on my work Mac today so I can't properly go hunting ... it might be this link? https://store.xbox.com/en-US/Xbox-One/Bundle/Destiny-The-Taken-King/ca85276b-8399-49d4-9bbe-426e53f17d4d

                  What happens when I follow that link without a VPN is it turns to https://store.xbox.com/en-AU/Xbox-One/Bundle/Destiny-The-Taken-King/ca85276b-8399-49d4-9bbe-426e53f17d4d

                  The big important part here is you are going to the US site and I am going to the Australian site, that's why you can get it cheaper.

      because its worth it?

      what something is worth is personal. for me the original outlay of Destiny has paid for itself 10 times over, while others think its the worse purchase they have ever made and there is nothing to do. Who is right?

      So much content x3 (for the each class), if you think its a rip off dont pay, its real simple

        It's hard to call the same missions radically different for each class.

    $70 for the standalone taken King dlc is the most staggering example of Australia tax gouging I've seen in quite a while. I love me some destiny yet I'm holding off.

      They are only gouging us $15 after currency conversion. So we are being gouged but not as badly as usual.

    Yes TTK is incredibly fun and for people who is new to Destiny it is an absolute gem. However that is my problem, I am not new to Destiny, I am an year one player and that makes me BITTER.

    While I was enjoying TTK the same thoughts kept popping into my mind "THIS! This is the way Destiny should have been. This is the Destiny that was promised to us (or at least closer to it than the original). Why couldn't it be like this since the beginning? Why?"

    As an veteran Destiny player I am mad at myself: why did I play Destiny back when it was a illogical, buggy grinding mess? I am even more pissed off at Bungie: Why do I have to pay the full price again to enjoy it the way it meant to be played?

    Perhaps this is the way a MMO suppose to be, it evolves and it gets better. If it is then just goes to prove that MMO is not my cup of tea and I will be extremely cautious when Destiny 2 comes out.

    Last edited 17/09/15 10:13 am

      This is very much the game Destiny should have been a year ago. Where was this energy, this story, this care? I enjoyed my first year of Destiny enough, but it has suddenly become considerably better. I'm loving it but a small part of me is pretty annoyed.

        But some things can never be taken away from you. The Loot Cave; Cryptarch being a prick; being Weasled just as you almost take down Valus Taurc; Crota's End Cheese (love how that sounds) and so on.

        What also can't be taken away is that you not only got to play the game, but contributed to it's development. A lot of the things that were wrong with Destiny 1.0 that that have been fixed for Destiny 2.0 are because of the players and the feedback they provided to Bungie through playing the game and bitching about it.

        I put over 400 hours into Destiny 1.0, never got a Gjallarhorn drop, only managed to get one character to 34 before the 2.0 patch; didn't get Moments of Triumphs (fuck you Skolas), but my money was well spent for that amount of time. I have a bunch of new friends now that I regularly play with that I didn't even know a year ago.

        If I get even half that amount of time played out of TTK it will be worth the cost of the expansion.

        It's funny, but whenever I read articles referring to Destiny 1.0 as being a paid-for 'Beta' test, I tend to agree - and think it's a good thing. I'm not a 'hard core' gamer, but I'm not aware of any other games that have quite the same mix of elements as Destiny, so changes to the game mechanics are good to see.

        Should the expansion have been cheaper? Maybe, but only time (and playing it) will tell. For me so far, I think it's worth the cash.

          I agree with most of what you said. Other than the "fond memory" and the "it's worth the cash" part.

          I understand, however, value is a very subjective thing. So for me being the cheap bastered that I am (I am also a father with 2 toddlers in a one income family, but mainly just a cheap basterd), I would gladly give all the "fond memory" back for a refund.

          Last edited 17/09/15 11:53 am

          If they were continually developing the game such that there was some flow from where they started then I could better accept the price, but TTK has just been a year 1 reset, start again, thanks for all your feedback...

          IF (big IF with Bungie atm) this is the base on which the game will be built then there should of been some recognition at the amount of money we spent in year 1 on something untested and unfinished.

          Ideally they could package up the whole thing as LE and CE as they've done for the price...good on them, no problem there...and chucked a bone to year oners saying thanks and making it another DLC ($25) or I'd probably accept the price of the season pass ($40) for it "casue it's sooo big"...

          But $70, it is just insulting

      Alot of talk like this makes me think Destiny 1.0 was the Alpha build, Dark Below and House of Wolves where like the Beta and now they have finally released the proper full game.

      or you COULD look at it from a glass half-full approach: this is how us year one players made the game even better in year two. It really makes me angry when players say they are bitter, given how much they have listened to us over the year.

      games devs arent all knowing, wise gods who knows what will make a brilliant game one day one, it is the players of this type of game who end up making it better.

      there is an old saying the theatre world: a play isnt a play until an audience is involved. all the rehearsals mean little until the audience add the final piece. it is THEM who tells you want works and what doesnt. Same with these type of games.

    I want to give it another shot, but I still can't shake the feeling that this is just week one hype. Everything is a little different so it feels new and fresh, but what's it going to be like to actually live in it? It seems like they've made a lot of progress towards making the good parts of Destiny better, but the reviewers aren't up to end-game and that's where Destiny really fell on it's face. What happens when you start approaching the end? Does it still do the typical MMO thing of slowing down and fizzling out into raids?
    Destiny has faced huge problems with an audience that isn't used to progression based end-game and the idea that the rewards they worked hard for have a relatively short shelf life. They've made some changes to how progression works but does it soften the blow enough?

    Last edited 17/09/15 10:23 am

      I can relate to your hesitation. Despite caving in and spending the $70 for the taken king and the $20 extra for all the little emotes and other stuff, not once have I caught myself saying it wasn't worth it. The way I look at it is the amount of hours I've sunk into the game before TTK, literally hundreds. Although in those hours I got shitty with it and questioned why they made it that way, but I still enjoyed it. I would like to keep enjoying it for hundreds of hours more which, in my opinion (read that carefully), is reason to spend more money on it. Which made it even more enjoyable more frequently as bungie learns from silly mistakes and tries to make a good game into a great game.

      However, I do share your worry. What happens when I've done all the quests and acquired the best guns and finished the Raid on hard mode? Will it just be a weekly grind in hopes of a different outcome? I like to think Bungie has these questions in mind and asks themselves 'how can we avoid that same flop? Call it blind faith, but I believe it won't become a reward-less grind like it was before.

      My suggestion if you haven't picked up TTK or looking to get back into Destiny, just hold off for two more weeks and see if the content has fizzled out. If it has...then I think my faith will falter and I'll be looking at other games to spend my time and money on.

        I very much suspect that the Quest thing will bring in ongoing changes. There are enough different locations, missions, strikes etc that new content could easily be dropped in by patches without a DLC ie Taken invading Cosmodrome etc etc. However, it is hard to imagine how that will be kept fresh until the real Destiny 2 which isn't suppose to be out until 2017?

          I very much suspect that the Quest thing will bring in ongoing changes.

          ONLY $9.99 PER MISSION.

      I'm loving it thus far - finished the first campaign quest, hit 40 and with a bit of work got good enough gear to do the daily missions; I'm loving exploring the Dreadnought; and I'm working on about 12 new TTK quests - but it's still tempered by the question of "okay, just how much is there to do?" When will we run out of quests? In a week? A month? Two?

      Two months ago, all I really had to do each week was the weekly nightfall; the only gear I was chasing was the Bones of Eao. I did the weekly heroics for fun - the coins were added to the growing pile in my vault. A month ago, Xur sold the Bones, so I picked them up and have been wandering aimlessly ever since. Even swapped to Diablo 3 for a couple of weeks, cos there was no reason to log onto Destiny.

      Unless Bungie have a plan for ongoing quest chains to be released over the next however-many months until 2.1, I can see it becoming* the same "all you have left to do is collect all the exotics" game I've been playing since early June. I really hope there's going to be more quests released over the next few months, tho, because Taken King thus far is showing exactly the promise that Bungie hinted at with the VoG's secrets, and the slowly improving storytelling in the TDB and HoW campaigns.

      *By that point, however, I think it will have justified the price of admission, at least for brand new players and persistent veterans. For people who felt jaded by vanilla, however, who quit at or before level 20... $70 is a hard sell, because to them it's $70 on top of the $70-$120 they've already felt cheated out of, and while I think TTK is great, I certainly agree it's not $140-$190 great. I don't think any game is worth an up-front cost that high, and the only thing making it palatable to veterans is that it got spaced out over 12 months.

    taken King much better Bungie has Finally made it Destiny like it should have been from launch This is what we have been expecting!!!!!

    So basically, console players just experienced a very pricey version of 'early access'.... goddamn. (I'm a console player, I own Destiny and the season pass on ps4, I'll be buying TTK).

    Do you still need real console friends to play Vault of Glass and other raids? or does it do matchmaking now? Don't have time to trawl forums looking for gamers who can play at Melbourne time, or ask my friends to find the time (who all have kids btw). Seems a shame a lot of the game is locked away to people who have the time to form a posse.

      Seriously, destinylfg.net

      The lack of social management is a problem and a frustration that the community has had to sort this out for themselves, but there's a reason matchmaking for raids isn't really viable - communication is key, even in a relatively straightforward raid like Crota's End. I can't imagine trying to do Vault of Glass for the first time without being in an organised group.

      Finding groups keen to do raids isn't really that hard. It might be right now because everyone is playing the new content, but if you're looking for a group to do Vault of Glass or Crota's End there are plenty of experienced players who enjoy doing Sherpa runs for newbies.

        Have you used that system much, yourself? How responsive is it for extremely short-term, late-to-no-notice pickups?

        I've never bothered to even visit any of those sites because the vibe I've always got from people talking about it is that it's a great place to find people you can meet with regularly at a certain time. (Which is, yes, hard enough.)

        But even that's actually too much for me. Advance planning or committing to anything even moderately long-term really gets in the way of what I'm trying to accomplish. Obligation is not relaxing - I want to sit down in front of the machine when I know I have a few hours free to do so, and jump into something without having to commit to doing the same thing next Tuesday or whatever. Hell if I can narrow my schedule down that much.

        To use an analogy, I get the feeling these community group-finders are e-harmony type sites, where I'm after a craigslist one night stand.

          I used it for the first time about two weeks ago looking for a normal mode vault of glass run right after weekly reset. Found a guy within 20 minutes looking for a group who added my wife and myself, then quickly found two more once he had us. We five-manned most of it, got Atheon and two people had to drop out, he quickly found three more keen to jump in within 5 minutes of those two leaving.

          We enjoyed playing together, added each other as friends, boom, more active Destiny players I know who I can hit up for a raid or whatever. Failing that, back to destinylfg. Or I could have not added them, no big deal.

          Last edited 17/09/15 2:00 pm

            Nice. That sounds better than I expected. The speedy response of LFG systems is what makes me wish it was done in-game, like with strikes, but 20min isn't too bad.

              Register/claim your gamertag/PSNID and put in your details. You choose what you're looking for, whether you have a group or are looking for one, and let it run. It'll keep showing you matches for people looking to do the same and you can message them via the site to make arrangements.

              It went way better than I expected.

          Took me an hour to find a group, which lead to 2 hours of fucking around with trolls/no mics/low skilled players and little to no progress.

          I've heard people have success with it, but it's far from ideal. "But you need communication, that's why we took out matchmaking!" Thanks Bungie, you really saved me from frustration there!

            Same. Only tried the first raid once with 3 irl friends and 3 from lfg. Was trolled the entire time and they all dropped out laughing at the end leaving the 3 of us to fail against the boss.

            My friends sold the game the next week.

      Destinylfg, or if you want to set a time in advance, try the100.io - you specify an activity, a general time you'd like to do it, preferred playstyle and the type of people you'd like to play with, and it'll find you a group, or give you recommendations of groups who might be interested in joining you in that activity. I used it for a VoG run back in March, when I was chasing a Fatebringer but didn't have a consistent crew wanting to run VoG - worked a treat.

    I really don't know why they haven't implemented the ability to increase the difficulty of patrols on the different planets. You get bounties that task you with going to each planet and collect things, would be a lot more enjoyable and replayable if I could increase the level of enemies to 40 so that the loot they drop could have a chance of being useless for a maxed out character.

    The standard patrol level for Earth is level 4.... And I get new characters need this to start levelling their character, but why not have a few servers that are level 40 patrols... I'm sure people would join them a lot more than the lowest level considering is doesn't take very long to level up these days.

    Last edited 17/09/15 10:50 am

      It might be coming, I noticed they've added the difficulty option to patrols, they just only have one difficulty unlocked so far... so maybe in the future?

      If it helps, the loot that drops will ALWAYS be of an 'appropriate' range for your character. Eg:
      If you fight level 9 dregs in the cosmodrome at level 9, you'll get level 6-10 gear. If you fight level 9 dregs in the cosmodrome at 20, you'll get 18-20 gear. If you fight level 9 dregs in the cosmodrome at 40 you'll get level 38-40 gear.

      The underlying principle is they wanted to prevent any one zone in particular from becoming 'the endgame zone', so that places like the moon didn't turn into a ghost town.

      But this is also what resulted in loot caves - people theorized that if any enemy has the same chance to drop good loot, then you can improve your chances by having MORE chances. So we looked for ways to kill lots and lots and lots of enemies to get more and more pulls of the slot machine lever.

      You'll notice that this is why 'loot caves' of regular spawns had their spawn timers increased and reacted more conservatively to guardian proximity. It's why vex missions with portals that used to spew an infinite number of goblins now only spawn 2-3 waves before they fall dormant, so that they can't be exploited.

      yeah this is the one thing i have really wished for myself.

    What is the absolute cheapest way for us to get it? I already have base plus the 2 expansions but still seemed to be $60 for the digital of TTK on PS store..

      $69.95 is the standalone DLC price for TTK. Some people have found better deals in retail, so maybe shop around?

        But TTK isn't available standalone retail though? only the legendary edition

          Some retail places might have the legendary edition for the same price as the TTK DLC, so you can shave a few bucks off in trading in your original disc. Saw a post in Talk Amongst Yourselves where someone did that.

          TTK is still just a download code though. If you already own all the year 1 content it's probably not worth the effort.

      What I'm doing, and this is the cheapest way, is trading my base Destiny in at EB, then getting EB to price match the TTK collectors edition which is $78 at target, I'll then get the full game and TTK for about $58 in total. I know I'm doubling up on the two previous DLC's, but in the end i'm getting it $20 cheaper then if I was to buy TTK alone

        You get about $16 for the base Destiny game now, so low $60's for the whole lot. IT works out pretty cost effective if you didn't get the expansions before now

          Was $56 in the end for me :) Just got back from EB then lol

            You must have given them your best smile :) Have fun - I ran through the first expansion last night, which was good, but tried one of the new strikes today with a mate (the one with the upgraded shank)...... so much better, and pretty hard given we only had 2 and I am still at 37. But so nice - it is like they took all the bits and put them together properly. (The electricity is a major pain is the butt... the warsat is pretty nasty too). I am not obsessed enough to trailblaze the raid, but if the rest of the upgrade is reflection of the raid, it will be awesome. I feel like I need to start a new character right from the start to fully appreciate how much better it is now..... Maybe the Warlock might get a rest for a run at a Titan.....

    For those complaining on cost. If you're an xbox user you can buy this for AU$45 from the Canadian store with a VPN. Super easy.
    I've played the game for about 6 hours so far, and based on what I've done and what is left to do, it's easily worth $45.

    Yeah the price is crazy! I got the base game and wolves skipped dark below because everyone said it wasn't that great. Got to lvl 33 and had fun with some friends and now everyone is getting back in for TTK though I would too. I have dropped $95 into this game so far and now to play anymore I need to drop another $99?? booted it up last night and I now only have access to half to content I used to most things are behind a paywall. I have a bounty to do for playing control matches in crucible that I cant do because I'm not aloud to play it anymore!!! just crazy talk. back to phantom pain for me

    The price is just an insult, especially for us in Australia. If we were paying what the rest of the world was, it'd still be pricey, but I could accept it, but we're paying more then anyone is for this dam expansion for no reason at all.
    My mates bloody pushed me to get it, but I feel so dirty for doing so, I hate supporting this kind of bullshit.

    To be honest destiny is still mostly the same as year one. It's a 10/10 shooter combined with a 6/10 RPG that is less player friendly then most free to play mobile titles. Sure it's greatly improved since year 1 ( I preordered the taken king so I got year 1 at a reasonable price point and have no complaints with the pricing structure. If you think it's too expensive don't buy it) but year 1's RPG mechanics were so terrible that they probably deserved a 2/10 in hindsight.

    Year 2 has essentially made player level pointless, broken the crucible for lower level players. (Be 40 or Get out unless you are great.) the economy is still broken. As everything is geared towards players putting in 500+ hours and the experience doesn't respect the time of people who only want to put in 40-60 hours. (Which is a lot if you have a life outside of destiny) with a pay upfront for dlc business model these casual/mid level players should be as valued as the hardcore. If you put in 100 hours to level up every class at least 2-3 of those you won't be able to jump without prior planning. Even longer until you unlock the double jump. That is bad game design.

    At its best destiny is close to the perfect hybrid of metroid prime, mass effect and halo, with the best platforming outside of a Mario title and the graphics of a game like uncharted. Or kill zone shaddowfall. Yet it's constantly shooting itself in the foot. You just need to decide if that pain is worth it for you.

    So... I hear a lot of talk about the leveling changes, narrative, etc. I see mention of the stealth mission above, but how else has gameplay been improved? Any AI improvements?

    I was always hoping for some great Halo AI(Covenant) in this but Destiny enemies seemed to act a bit more like the Flood. And the bullet sponge bosses really didn't do it for me,

      From what I've played the Ai is tougher, with much more variety in enemy interactions. and bullet sponges bosses have been replaced by bullet hell type environments if you like to play solo. there are also more multiple stage boss encounters ala dark souls, zelda and every other game with good boss fights.

    I want to love Destiny, even as a predominantly solo player I want to get in and check out TTK, but that price is turning me right off. I got Destiny on day-one for $99, didn't pick up the Season Pass (thank god I didnt), now Im to pay another $99 for what is primarily fixing what I already paid for? Or I can throw what I bought in the bin and just buy the game again.

    This feels like the worst way to punish your early adopters. Even if it was a $50 price to update, would still feel pretty awful but I'd probably pay that, but comparing it to what they're planning in Witcher 3's $35 DLC (Season Pass), I'm probably going to wait and pick up TTK off Gumtree for $30 in a few months.

      For $79 at JB you can get the base game and all DLC incl. Taken King, so I would not recommend buying the Dark Below or House of Wolves separately at this time. You are better off just buying the new version it at retail if you want to continue.

      Am copying my comment from above for you, if you still have the base game...

      What I'm doing, and this is the cheapest way, is trading my base Destiny in at EB, then getting EB to price match the TTK collectors edition which is $78 at target, I'll then get the full game and TTK for about $58 in total (you also get all the DLC). I know I'm doubling up on the two previous DLC's, but in the end i'm getting it $20 cheaper then if I was to buy TTK alone

        Wow, I must have missed that. Cheers, sounds like a great plan.

    the only reason why its 70$ is because it the original game with 3 expansions, its a good price for a complete pack. stupid for one piece of paper for the 3rd expansion, but regardless of the cash grab, its so far an amazing start for year 2. too bad it was like this in year 1, i feel the characters now have a personality minus the main character who now has gone mute..
    but its great, really happy things are going ahead

    The thing that pisses me off the most is the price of the add one itself in Australia it was on the Xbox store it was 69.95. To get the bundle at JbHifi it was 79.99. I don't mind paying for DLC, I did it for Halo 3 and I'm sure I will do it for many more titles. But Bungie are taking the piss, they keep saying we are going to make it right, but when? There has been no indication to me they have made it right.

      Couldn't agree more, its pissed me off to no end. Especially with the australian $20 mark up that we got!

    Apologies in advance I jumped around a bit while writing this, but really need to get back to work.

    ---

    I have been a regular player since it all kicked off a year ago.

    I have played with lots of friends in the past year. Some who got through the core content and dropped off and some who stuck it out, like me. The game is by no means perfect for all the reasons we have heard before; poor progression system, lacking story and direction, RNG, grind reliant, feature lacking. But what keeps me coming back is that Destiny provides a great, unique experience that I simply can't get anywhere else.

    For me they have nailed the hard stuff. Controls are tight, universe is interesting, level design and music are fantastic all built around a co-op focus. This is a fantastic foundation for a game, and since launch I have been excited to see what Bungie builds on those foundations. We got glimpses of this with The Dark Below and House of Wolves but The Taken King has been the first demonstration of Destiny's true potential to evolve.

    I have had issues with the game since day one. With The Taken King Bungie has addressed nearly all of my issues in some capacity (not as much as I would have liked in a lot of cases but... something). They have tried a bunch of new things in The Taken King and some are going to work and the ones that don't will (hopefully) be refined later. Many people have said that The Taken King is what Destiny should have been at launch and I agree. But I just can't shake the feeling that many of the best elements of The Taken King have been directly introduced from player feedback and I just don't think we would have got this if Bungie took more time and realeased a more 'realised' product out of the gate.

    The drop in drop out co-op shooter that Destiny offers has also helped keeping me coming back and I have spent 100's of hours with the game so far. I haven't even batted an eye at the DLC pricing because if I am going to weigh up value Destiny is still the best value game I have purchased in the last few years. I can appreciate that this is my experience and for those who are playing the game more casually the pricing may seem steep.

    I actually think that Destiny's 10 year plan approach to game development has the potential to be genius. In a time where there is a yearly release of Assassin's Creed, COD, Skylanders and every sports game out. It seems wasteful to put all this work into a AAA title and then eclipse it with your own next years model. I have felt this way with both COD and Assassin's creed where I have been meaning to finish the game (AC4) but then suddenly the next release is out (Unity) and I feel like I should be giving that more attention. Their approach to build on last years model and continue to expand and grow your game into something the size of an MMO has potential. It is, I guess a commercial model for an early access program. But I don't necessarily think it is a bad thing. Video games are expensive. AAA video games are crazy expensive. Making a AAA FPS game with the scope of an MMO would take years and years (more than the initial game development which was already lengthy). So if done right a plan to continue to bring out content for your existing title and evolving and expanding on it while taking in player feedback has the potential to lead to something truly amazing.

    The biggest issue here is that is is a bit of a new business model and if they aren't getting the pricing/content value balance right they are going to put people off. For me (while I would certainly like more) what I have received so far I have happily parted with my money to experience. From what I can see from the general reaction for most people the pricing hasn't been correct. Hopefully like the gameplay this is something that they listen to and adjust.

    For me Destiny is a fantastic base for a game (which I just enjoy playing) and TTK has shown the potential to evolve the living world. I may lose interest down the track but for the moment I am just enjoying being along for the ride.

    Last edited 17/09/15 3:02 pm

      Thanks for the very considered comment. I agree with everything you've said. It's funny, but they've been saying since day one that it's a 10 year project, yet people are moaning about the first year as if it was just a one year release. Those of us who want to, will be here for the long haul. Personally, I'm looking forward to another 9'years of seeing what changes are made.

    all you lot commenting on price... I have paid over 3000 for world of warcraft... MMO's cost money, it just seems to have caught on with consoles now.
    it's why they are so involving in almost every way.

    cant wait for this to come to PC

      Yeah, a die-hard probably won't notice much value difference on paper.

      A year of WoW sets you back $40 for the bundle (if you DON'T get it on one of their $5-20 specials), plus $180 for the year. Expansions last around 1.5-2yrs, making your annual cost to keep up with the joneses being possibly $200 a year. (And the game has been running for only ten years, so let's say $2,000 instead of $3,000 for a decade.)

      Ignoring the fact that one year of WoW has around ten times the content of Destiny's first year and is thus ten times better value, the problem here is that Destiny might SEEM to be on-par for price value (ie: $130 for the original bundle with DLC1&2, plus another $60 to digitally upgrade to TTK, and let's assume that you were paying for XBL-G/PS+ subscriptions anyway)... it's really not.

      The problem is that this is the MINIMUM price. If you play Destiny every day, all year or WoW every day all year, it's fine - they're pretty damn close. But there are big lulls in content where you might not feel like playing.

      If you play WoW for six months then stop your sub, you're suddenly $80-90 ahead of someone who plays Destiny for six months then stops.

      Destiny doesn't have a subscription... it has WORSE than a subscription. It has up-front costs that are the same as a year's subscription, even if you don't play for a year. At least a subscription allows you to opt-out of the annual cost for x number of months.

      Last edited 17/09/15 3:20 pm

        Wow subs are essentially free now for the hardcore people (selling gold on the AH for subs). Destiny also doesn't have any of the advantages of subs - namely dedicated servers (seriously they must save a bucketload of money by going p2p for everything) and less content cycles.

        IMO destiny is a complete rip off for what it is. I'd love for a competitor to come out with something similar but just better on every front (dedicated servers, story, ai, raids/strikes etc).

        Actually i'm pretty sure thats what the new blizzard game, overwatch, was going to be but they ended up changing it late in development to more of a competitive shooter instead of cannibalising destiny which acti/blizz have spent a rumored 500mil on.

      Its barely classed as an MMO though, even bungie have said its not an MMO but something different entirely. I can see why people put it there, but compared to proper MMO's like WoW, it really doesn't come close. I mean you're only ever playing with a max of 16 players for example (I think thats the max if I remember rightly).

    Holy crap it's insane how much certainty people have in the way they experience things. The baffling ignorance of what constitutes "value" and the judgement of people who're convincing themselves that everything they enjoy is fine and dandy for everyone else is just insane. There's such transparent insecurity over other people's personal preferences (please, you are going out of your way to explain that since you enjoy something, it is of value to others - they aren't) it's truly worrying for people to be so intentionally ignorant.

    I hate to be another person to point out the Cost of it, But I'm also someone that didn't hate the vanilla game, finished the main story and even came back after a few of the updates to try some strikes and such. In the end I was just not one of the people that could stomach the epic amounts of grinding required, so even after everything I've done, Coupled with my natural lack of fortune when it comes to the RNG gods, I'm still only lvl 24.
    I read through this and though yes! It really might be time to get back on and actually invest a heap more time in Destiny, However as someone that enjoyed the game, but isn't madly in love with it, $70 is a whole bunch of nope! I only paid $59 for the game brand new, I'm sure as shite not spending more than that on the DLC! I get that things cost money, and I get that they have done a lot with this DLC, but it's not Destiny 2, just seems greedy to me.

      So don't. There are plenty of people willing to pay the money for these expansions. If you don't want it, don't buy it. Different people will like different games. I paid about $100 for Wolfenstein: The New Order, got about 30 hours of play out of it and really enjoyed it. But, it was what it was.

      Yes, the story was really engaging, but at the end of the day I could have gone back and made different choices p, played a different way and had different outcomes. But I didn't. It didn't suit my choice of gaming. Yeah, vanilla destiny story is shit unless you spend a lot of time delving into the Grimoire, but, seriously if you don't like it, don't play it. The mechanics are great, but you do need friends to get the most out of it. It's a collaborative game, and I've made a bucket-load of new friend s from playing destiny.

      It's not for everyone, but that doesn't mean it's bad for everyone.

      I've also not taken the Destiny disc out of my XBOX since I bought it. I could have bought Battlefield: Hardline, or any other game in the intervening period but I didn't. For me (and a lot of my friends), Destiny has been well worth the money.

      The value of Destiny is very much what you get out of it (like any game I guess).

      I should also mention that you DONT have to grind for light or whatever. If you just want to jump on for an hour and shoot aliens in the face to relax, you can do that too.

      Last edited 17/09/15 10:19 pm

        So don't
        I'm not going to. That's what I was getting at.

        but, seriously if you don't like it, don't play it. The mechanics are great,
        I actually do like it, just not a big enough fan to justify spending more than I spent on the game.

        I should also mention that you DONT have to grind for light or whatever. If you just want to jump on for an hour and shoot aliens in the face to relax, you can do that too
        The only thing I've used Destiny for since I finished the main story is jumping in to shoot some Aliens in the face to relax by doing strike missions. Because I didn't grind for Light It limited how many of the Strike missions I could actually do, plus due to being lvl 24 I've never done a Raid. Given that I can't justify the price of the DLC, and they have now locked all strike missions because I haven't bought the DLC, I can't even do that anymore.

    Can I ask a newcomer question? I'm brand new to the game, and have played through the story missions on Earth - I received the bump up to level 25 by accident (fumbling around the Tower) and now I am being repeatedly killed by this Sardon character. Is this supposed to be so discouraging? I'm a good shot, but my special/heavy ammo runs out just as I'm about to take him down. I've backed out and tried to find ammo, waited for the 30 seconds, but nothing. I've even found a spot where I can just sit and watch the boss, landing a few lame shots with my regular weapon - but even that spot gets overrun by minions after a while. Help?

      Welcome to the brutality that is Destiny..... there are some quite nasty bosses you will encounter. Having just picked up the expansions, there is a big jump in difficulty in the story levels. 25 probably wont cut it for the taken king unless you have some top weapons to go with them, especially if you are new to the game. I would recommend leaving the taken king story until you do the two expansions and at least get into the mid 30's...... or alternatively, find a destiny buddy or two and co-op the story. It is not a cop out..... Destiny can be nasty. Do things in order and the difficulty progression should not be too brutal (but it won't be easy). Join a clan and find a bunch of people to play with - Destiny is best when you can share your irritation at being shot to bits by aliens..... :)

      Yip, I would aim to be a few levels above what is the mission level recommendation.

      As a newbie, I would also go and do all the original Destiny quest missions plus The Dark Below and House of Wolves. You'll rank up your class, get used to the controls and missions, get some of the original story and hopefully get some good drops along the way.

      There are definitely some big difficulty spikes in some of the missions if you are new, underleveled and playing solo.

      Have fun, that is the main thing.

      Ah. Was discussing the level jump thing last night. Really think that should be a reward for maxing your first character so your alt gets the boost but you're forced to level your first character properly - it'll give you a better progression and stop you getting ahead of yourself...

      My suggestion would be stick your weapons in the vault, and start your second character - you'll be more familiar with the mechanics, will be able to grab the weapons out of the vault, and will be better armed... jump back to your first character later on. Which class did you choose?

      Are you on PS4? Happy to run you through a few bits and help you with finding the early perks like the golden chests (that are useless if you find them later in the game.) We've got a Kotaku crew who are very happy to assist new players (and sit back and let you discover stuff too).

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